We celebrate Mother's Day in March in Britain, but having lived in Canada for a long time the May date feels more traditional to me, and it's made me think about mothers in our novels. The picture is of my mother, Mildred, as a teenager, on her wedding day, and her 40th wedding anniversary.
I have to say that my work is short on great mothers. No reflection on my own mum, but for some reason my heroine's good mothers are usually dead before the book starts. Mind you, most of the bad ones are, too.
If I consider my recent books I have a cold mother for Georgia is A Scandalous Countess, and a dead, unappreciative one for Prudence in An Unlikely Countess. In my upcoming book, Seduction in Silk, the heroine's dead mother is a stinker, and the hero's is the same as in Scandalous C as Perry is Georgia's brother.
To look on the bright side, both Christian's parents in A Secret Wedding were loving, though also such an embarrassment to him at times with their seemingly endless production of healthy children and unashamed enjoyment of the getting of them. Sometimes parents in novels can make life difficult, as in Perry's case in Seduction in Silk.
There's an excerpt here, but no mothers present.
I have some questions for you.
What great mothers for heroes and heroines have you found in historical romance? What makes them particularly great?
In general, if the protagonists have a mother, does that help or hinder? Does being motherless lead to a stronger plot? Does a loving mother weaken the drama? Examples?
If you have a great story about your mother, share it here. My mother, a devout Catholic, used to invite Jehova's Witnesses in for tea and try to convert them. I think she got put on their blacklist in the end as they stopped coming by.
I'll give a copy of The Secret Wedding to the writer of one of the interesting comments, randomly picked.